Amidst a hectic worklife, a devotee connects to Krishna’s teachings through the Internet.
Although I first heard about Krishna consciousness through a friend, what initially drew me closer to it is the internet, where I began reading the Krishna book online.
With a hectic work life, especially true in the case of big cities, one hardly gets time to strike a proper balance between achieving professional and personal goals. So I decided to somehow stay connected online and get to know more about Krishna consciousness through reading and listening.
The Krishna conscious literature was so powerful and piercing that it tore apart all the self-made conceptions or misconceptions I had about the Absolute Truth.
It amazes me how ISKCON has used the principle of time, place and circumstance in its extensive preaching activities that continue to attract more and more conditioned souls worldwide to the lotus feet of Krishna.
Practically almost every important Krishna conscious literature is available online in the form of books, lectures, newsletters and innovative tools like blogs, articles, communities and even discussion forums that help one stay connected spiritually.
There are so many websites I got inspired with from time to time: www.btswami.com, www.traveling-preacher.com , www.saranagati.net, www.sivaramswami.com, www.goswami.com, www.prabhupadavani.org, www.iskcondesiretree.com, www.vedabase.net, and the list just goes on and on.
The medium of inspiration differed in each case: through lectures (especially the lectures by Bhakti Tirtha Swami before his disappearance), through experiences (preaching exploits of Indrayumna Swami), some through anecdotes and stories (Sacinandana Swami), some through realizations (Sivarama Swami) and some through concise and heart piercing preaching (Tamala Krishna Goswami).
Every preacher has his own appeal and unique style of presentation that one gets attracted to, and I am sure that Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual tree continues to produce many such wonderful fruits in the form of his disciples for us to relish their nectar.
Very recently I also came across yet another wonderful gem in the form of www.mnsbooks.com by Mahanidhi Swami. It has a collection of many fabulous books written by Maharaja and seminars and lecture series on interesting topics like Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Bhajana-rahasya among many others.
I had always heard within devotee circles how his book Art of Chanting Hare Krishna had helped them immensely in improving their daily sadhana.
I was amazed at the depth of information compiled and provided in this book obstacles and pitfalls faced by the practitioners at different stages of chanting, and how they could be rectified by adapting scientifically proven techniques, and many detailed topics on the holy name. The lecture series on this book added a different dimension altogether as Maharaja poured in his personal realizations and simplified the subject so well through his beautiful analogies and examples.
Like all other Srila Prabhupada disciples, Mahanidhi Swami has dedicated his life to preaching the glories of the holy name. He particularly does so through his books and seminars on various topics of devotional service.
Some of the rare Gaudiya Vaishnava scriptures have also been edited and presented in English by Mahanidhi Swami, like:
–Sarartha Darshini (Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary on the 10th canto of Bhagavatam)
– Sri Madhava Mahotsava (Srila Jiva Goswami’s classic on Srimati Radharani’s coronation ceremony)
Whenever I get the mercy to travel to the holy dhama, I make sure that I carry a book titled ‘Appreciating Sri Vrindavana Dhama’ by Maharaja which is a poetic journey through Vrindavana’s forests, residents, eternal associates, Krishna’s pastimes and the places, the Goswamis, and the temples. The experience of Vrindavana just gets richer every time I see Vrindavana through the eyes of this book.
I am sure that everyone will find their own ways of inspiration to grow in spiritual life as and how the Lord directs them, but what is most important is that we continue to sincerely beg for more; while the vani of these merciful senior Vaishnavas presents itself as an oasis in the desert of this material world and continues to give us inspiration and strength to nurture the delicate creeper of our Bhakti to help us attain the ultimate goal of human life love of Godhead.
I must confess, like all others, even I am the product of mercy of these wonderful devotees who drew me closer to Krishna. Srila Prabhupada once said: “No material conditions can check ones spiritual progress.” I completely agree. With so many limitations and constraints with respect to time and distance, somehow technology helped me to remain in touch with Krishna consciousness.
His Holiness Sacinandana Swami Maharaja rightly puts it: “You see, when we are a little open, we are instructed at every step by the Lord. Lessons come to us from everywhere.”
Ameya Tandel works as a marketing and strategy manager with a MNC.
Cautionary note: Pursuing the spiritual path on the internet can be dangerous because the internet is an uncensored, free-access media. It is only by the help of devotees that one will be able to steer clear of the sites and blogs that contain half-truths and full lies about ISKCON and its leaders, sites that simply distract and discourage spiritual seekers.
Accept the Challange
The following letter was dictated by BTG reader Narendra Dalal who was suffering from terminal cancer. In his last days, he avidly read BTG and derived great inspiration from the articles. BTG was very dear to him and he wrote letters to the editor (October 2008). He even had some plans to write for BTG in his final days.
Though he did not seem like a typical Hare Krishna devotee, his heart was brimming with deep gratitude for the process of Krishna consciousness. His two sons Dhaval Dalal and Snehal Dalal are senior congregation devotees and Dhaval Dalal is also a reputed physician. Both their families were by their father’s side helping him medically and spiritually in his final days.
Now I am challenged with a serious illness. For the last three months I have been suffering from a neuro-endocrine tumor which is a terminal disease. Believe me I am passing through various experiences mentally and physically and do not know what to do. However the loving and caring nature of so many devotees keeps my life going. So many near and dear relatives and devotees are meeting me and are praying for me immensely. I am told that now there is no advantage of any further treatment, and I am unable to eat or drink anything.
Let us leave everything to Lord Krishna and be ready for whatever is in store for me. I have read many articles in BTG of a similar nature, where such cases have been left to Lord Krishna’s will. I am waiting for His will to happen.
On June 24, I was given the honor of performing arati to Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra at the Mira Road Rathyatra. I consider this to be the best day of my life. I also climbed on the ratha and could see the Lord face to face, and I found my feet started spontaneously dancing.
One senior devotee said that there is always a volcano in our body which can erupt at any time. Yes, in my case it has erupted so suddenly, and I seek your prayers to give me the requisite strength.
By the prayers of the devotees and the mercy of the Lord, Mr Narendra Dalal did get the requisite strength. He went through his last days with courage taking full shelter of Lord Krishna, His message, and His devotees. On 28 July ’09, surrounded by sincere devotees chanting and praying for him, he departed from the world.